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Safe Built Horse Dividers and Partitions

You probably consider your horses as your children. Let's face it, when you shop for a new car seat for your little one, you will research, read blogs, and more importantly look at Consumer Protection Government reports which show results from testing. But who does the testing for the safety of your horse and which opinion matters?

Does your neighbor do testing on their trailer, or is their opinion flawed and only an opinion? Or is the opinion of the dealer you are buying a trailer that is correct, does he do testing, or is his opinion biased? Perhaps the manufacturer of the trailer does testing. Doubtful...most manufacturers use materials that are inexpensive and easy to produce which cut down on labor cost to boost efficiency and profit. Typically that is more of a concern than the safety of your horse. So who is really concerned about the safety of your horse? YOU ARE!

Most aluminum horse trailers use aluminum for the construction of the dividers. While aluminum sounds nice since it's marketed as being light weight and non-rusting, there can be flaws. Aluminum is a very bendable material, like a tin can. Unless it is really thick, it doesn't have much strength. And since you can't see the thickness of aluminum on your horse dividers, using another type of material that is light weight, doesn't rust but is much stronger can be a better solution. There exist technologies today using steel combined with zinc that prevent rust, are light weight and provide superior strength under stress. You may not think of your dividers as being stressed, but imagine what happens when you get rear ended. Or when your horse falls down and tries to get back up while caught underneath a divider, that can be messy. You may be thinking "well I have had a trailer for 15 years with aluminum dividers that haven't given me any trouble". That's fantastic and we are happy for you, but have you ever been rear ended or involved in an accident? Has your horse ever spooked and tried to go across the divider or gotten a leg thrown over. Until the divders have been truly stressed, you can't be sure how they will perform. Our testing shows that aluminum when high stressed can break, tear, rip or splinter causing severe injuries in some cases. This is one of the reasons we recommend materials other than aluminum such as zinc which will perform much better under high stress. While more expensive to produce, the safety benefit provided for your horses is worth the extra money.

In addition to the material of construction, keep in mind the following when examining dividers to insure they are safe for your horses:

  • Air Flow and Light: Unless your horse can see through the head portion of the divider, it makes it impossible for light and air to pass through. Most studies show that horses travel more calmly and are under less stress in a well lit, well ventilated trailer. If you are considering a trailer that has non-see.
  • Tight Fit Latch: You probably do not like to ride in your automobile with a squeek or annoying vibration that can get on your nerves. Neither does your horse. Make sure the dividers secure tight without any vibration or rattle. Of course one that you can use with one hand operation is preferred, and a latch that doesn't pop open easily with the weight of your horse against it.
  • Padding: It never ceases to amaze me when a customer tells me they purchased brand "XYZ" trailer and think they got such a good deal. And then I suddenly notice there isn't any padding on the walls or dividers, particularly common in slant loads. It's sort of like riding in your automobile in a wooden chair without padding....it isn't fun. Neither is it fun for your horse rocking around in your trailer banging up against the side wall or divider without any cushion. Make sure your trailer has really thick, nice padding that you are proud of. Even if it has padding, often times it is something of shame and provides little protection.

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